"I was born in 1957 with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and had my first operation at just 1 years old.

Up until the age of 13, when I had been unable to stop wetting myself, I had numerous bladder infections often resulting in hospital stays. I was then told I needed an operation if I wanted to see sweet 16.

Much to the amazement of my then GP Dr Dainow, all went well and I was at least able to enjoy a normal life. Getting out in the playground on sports day at school was fantastic. And no worries about soiled underwear!

At 24, after getting many gout attacks, I was diagnosed with progressive renal failure which was controlled by medication. This went on until at the age of 31, I was told I needed to have alternative treatment, dialysis. I had a tissue typing test done at Guys' Hospital, London and was told I am officially on the transplant waiting list and had an appointment to discuss the type of dialysis available.

But just 1 week later, before going on dialysis, on December 5th, I got the call telling me a kidney was available and so I was rushed to East Dulwich Grove hospital, London.

Sometime after midnight, the surgeon Mr Bewick performed the transplant but it was not all smooth sailing. Because of my earlier 2 ops, Mr Bewick told me I was "in a right mess inside" and "had to sort me out!" (Plus the fact I was overweight). This unfortunately led to a minor heart attack on the operation table. But my consultant Dr Snowdon and her wonderful team looked after me admirably.

Now, a wonderful 34 years later, I am still enjoying life, maybe not to the full but enjoying life nonetheless. I managed to fulfil my dream of climbing mountains (walking up), Mount Snowdon to name one, not by driving 2 thirds up then walking the rest but starting at ground level and walking up the full height then descending down to the car park before going on to the hostel. That holiday included Wales' 5 highest peaks culminating in camping out on Mount Llewellyn for the last day (in the most horrendous weather I have known). I also enjoyed a week in Iceland (the country) and climbed their highest peak, I had a walk around the crater of a dormant volcano, saw what remains of Mount Hekkler after it blew its top and bathed in hot springs. And let's not forget the geysers and boiling mud as well as the horrid smell of sulphur. Beautiful country with beautiful people.

All's going well albeit having skin problems. As a redhead, I burned very easily in the sun and as I used to be a field engineer in the City and West End of London, I often got sunburn, especially on my right arm from driving. I now suffer from sun damaged skin and have to visit the dermatologist often as the damage can form (and has in the past) skin cancer. Being my immune system is suppressed is also a major factor. So now it's sunblock and a large hat every time the sun is shining.

So, to celebrate, I shall be having a Japanese meal with my sister and shall raise a glass of Asahi, Japanese lager to celebrate the moment. The only downside is, I never got to thank the donors' family for their decision to allow their family member to have their organs donated."